New medium for an old lore 


22 young Indigenous students with a passion for music travelled more than 700kms from Groote Eylandt to Charles Darwin University’s Casuarina campus last week.

The VET students used the on-campus recording studio to record a compilation of songs as part of their music course. The songs were recorded in their homeland languages and have strong cultural ties to their country.

Student Duncan Mamrika from Umbakumba said: ”We listen to the stories from our fathers and the elders of the country and sing what we have learnt. Our music is about teaching our kids where they come from.”

Caring for country, fishing, family and young people returning home were themes featured strongly in the lyrics of the music recorded.

Music lecturer Allen Murphy said: ‘It’s a great opportunity for the guys to experience recording. We already have 20 songs in the compilation so we will keep going.

“Raising the profile of music in communities is really important, as it creates an outlet for young people to express themselves and make their stories heard. It’s about retaining language, reconnecting young people to their history and developing creative ways for education and employment through music,” said Allen.

The group will return home with a professionally recorded CD, which will be distributed widely in their communities. The CD will be used to develop the musicians profiles in the music industry.

It is hoped programs such as these will encourage more Indigenous young people to become involved in music.

Training was delivered to the students through the School of Creative Arts and Humanities.